Wednesday 18th. June, 2014 – Off to Stirling again 

I took this picture just a few minutes ago – yes, quite late on in the evening and still it is broad day light and glorious sunshine. It is a ‘before’ picture because tomorrow Tom and I hope to fit the shingles and complete the building which has been ‘on the go’ since before Christmas. I’m looking forward to getting it completed – it won’t make any difference at all to the inside where it is already the best place in the world (that’s not just my view, but Mix’s as well)!

Up early and walked Mix before breakfast. Then I got myself together and drove to Stirling to the regular meeting of the Scottish Pilgrim Routes Forum trustees. It was a useful meeting which I enjoyed. There was a post mortem on the forum meeting held recently in Glasgow at the Cathedral and a looking forward to the event to be held in Dunfermline at the start of October. Of course there was a great deal of housekeeping as well – working through the new constitution and getting feedback on all that is being done ‘on the ground’.

I am always given an opportunity to say a little about the Green Pilgrimage Movement and I was glad to be able to tell them about the agreement which has been made between Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Climate Action initiative and the Green Pilgrim Network to create a ‘Green Faith in Action campaign’.

The Alliance of Religions and Conservation reports that:

"Through its Geneva office, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s R20 Regions of Climate Action will now partner with pilgrim cities in the Green Pilgrimage Network to bring in technical expertise and investment partners to deliver renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure projects. They will work together to promote pilgrim cities to become innovative models of faith-consistent values, environmental care and green economy that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

The R20 Regions of Climate Action office in Geneva will be the focal point for working with the Green Pilgrimage Network to identify up to eight pilgrim cities as initial places where green pilgrimage principles can be put into practice most effectively.

The list of sites under consideration include Etchmiadzin in Armenia and Amritsar in India and the partnership will also aim to promote model green pilgrim cities as examples of environmental action at a meeting to be held in Paris in December 2015."

This is all so exciting and I am delighted to be part of it all, but I would have loved for Luss and wider Argyll to be part of it all as well. In the vision we drew up, Luss could have become Scotland’s first carbon neutral sustainable ‘city’. When we talked about it there was always a natural cynicism about where the funds would have come from – it is now becoming ever clearer that where the vision is embraced, funds follow. I still hope that there may be a place in all of this for our Argyll communities which are so rich in natural resources whether these be of water, of wind or of land itself. I have been tasked with seeing if we can have some presentation of this huge initiative as part of our gathering in October.

I drove home past the Kelpies shining gloriously in the evening light. Back home I met with Tom to check our arrangements to complete the summer house tomorrow and then I dined with the family in the farm house. During the evening I picked up on some of the loose ends which were waiting for me and then walked Mix a bit earlier than usual so that we could watch a bit of football before bed. (I enjoyed last night’s game between Russia and South Korea but felt ever so sorry for the goal-keeper who let the ball bounce over his shoulder and into the net, watched by the whole world. Good to remember that it is just a game.) Talking of games, Durham had a good win against Lancashire today in the County Championship -- it was a very good win, but I suspect nerves were beginning to fray as the match reached its conclusion and Durham won by just 27 runs.

While I was away today, Digger and Olive worked in the garden, Mum read her book and Rachel found the day just too hot to do anything at all! I am just loving this weather.

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